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Accenture Managing Director on Why Veterans Are a Great Fit for Professional Careers

Accenture Managing Director Mary Legere on why veterans are a great fit for professional careers.

Lt. Gen. (R) Mary Legere joined Accenture's Federal Services as a Managing Director to help the company bring the best cyber and intelligence capabilities to national defense intelligence and cyber clients. Prior to joining Accenture, Mary served for 34 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Officer, with tours in Korea, Germany, the Balkans and Iraq.


As a General Officer, she served as the United States Senior Intelligence Officer in Korea and in Iraq, and as a three-star general, she served as the Army's Senior Intelligence Officer, leading a global enterprise of 58,000 intelligence professionals in 140 countries, supporting complex multidiscipline operations across the globe.

Why are veterans a great fit for professional careers?

Our servicemen and women bring great passion, teamwork, discipline and resilience to their daily missions. They deliver the same to the companies they join after their service.

Our military services are values-based organizations, built on respect, teamwork, love of country and commitment to mission and others over self. This is what attracts people to serve, what inspires them to stay. These are the values our veterans and their families carry for the rest of their lives and bring to their new employers.

I am so proud of Accenture's commitment to our military communities and efforts to hire 5,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2020. This initiative demonstrates a powerful commitment to our veterans and their families as they transition into the civilian sector and shows great appreciation of their service and sacrifices to our nation. It also ensures Accenture gains the benefit of our veterans' leadership, experience, work ethic and commitment to excellence — reinforcing the values that are so central to Accenture's success. 

What challenges do veterans face when transitioning?

One of the greatest difficulties our veterans face is how to translate the skills they've gained in the service — in leadership and in technical areas —  to positions in the civilian sector. It can be difficult to translate our work experience, to understand how we can be of service, how our skills and capabilities can benefit our civilian employers and how to envision how we can contribute to the team. When our veterans transition, either after a first tour or a 30-year career like mine, they need assistance and assurance from the private sector that their talents, energy and work experience will be valued and that they'll feel welcomed into a new team. Accenture does an amazing job helping our veterans understand how they and their skills sets and leadership can help the company, and how the company will invest in their continued development and growth.

What advice would you give to veterans looking for a career in the professional world?

One of the great joys of being retired is the opportunity to mentor service members as they start thinking about their transitions to the civilian or public sector. In offering advice, I always encourage them first to think about the kind of work they are passionate about — to talk to people in their perspective career fields and to ensure they are able to bring energy and enthusiasm to their new careers as passion will be among the most important factors in ensuring their successful transition. I encourage them to take advantage of military transition services, social media and networking with others who have made the transition and not to be afraid to ask for help.  People are happy to offer it — and will go the extra mile if asked. I remind our veterans that in addition to their leadership skills, work ethic and work and life experience, one of the most important skill sets they have is their ability to adapt, master new skills, perform under pressure and adjust to new and complex environments. I assure them all of these things are valued and will create opportunities for them as they begin their new careers.  Just lean in, team well and work hard, and great things will happen.

Anthony B. Coleman: Veterans Should Discover Their Passion and Allow it to Lead to a Profession

Coleman, talks with DiversityInc about his journey transitioning from life in the U.S. Navy to working for Kaiser Permanente as an Assistant Hospital Administrator.

Anthony B. Coleman, DHA, is the Assistant Hospital Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente, Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

He was born at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Pioneer (MCM 9) and USS Ardent (MCM 12). After completing a full sea tour he was transferred to shore duty, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Workforce, Education and Development, as well as a Master of Health Administration. He later earned a commissioned as a Naval Officer serving in various roles overseas and afloat, including Chief Financial Officer at U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort SC, Human Resources Director at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and Medical Operations Officer onboard the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) nuclear powered aircraft carrier.

Anthony retired in 2016 with 20 years of honorable service and holds a Doctor of Health Administration Degree and currently serves as the Assistant Administrator (Operations Support) for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers.

DI: What was the initial transition like going from the armed services to a civilian career?

My initial thoughts on transition brought unnecessary anxiety. However, when I learned that my preceptor was a retired Air Force Colonel, it helped put me at ease about the transition. On my first day at Kaiser Permanente, the staff and physicians welcomed me and ensured that I had the support I needed to make a successful transition.

DI: What are some skills or habits you developed while serving in the military that have helped you in your current role?

Two things stick out in my mind as important.

The first is transitioning mindset from duty to desire. I joined the navy at 17, and during the first 3-5 years of my military career I didn't realize I was part of something bigger than myself so I competed tasks out of obligation (duty). After completing my first full sea tour, I realized how my efforts contributed to the overall mission of the U.S. Navy and the duties I carried out started to come from a desire to do so. This realization helped shape my leadership style and how I groomed young sailors early on in their enlistments. I wanted them to realize their very important part in the overall U.S. Navy mission and motivate them to bring their "A" game every day.

This has helped in my current role overseeing nine non-clinical departments (Housekeeping, Food and Nutrition, Engineering, Construction, Parking, Safety, Property Management, Telecommunications, Security and Supply Chain Management) where the majority of the employees I oversee are entry-level and can feel disconnected to health care because they are not physicians or nurses. However, I stress to them as often as possible that whether their job is to nourish the patient, clean and disinfect a patient room, make sure life-saving equipment is in working order, or any other of the hundreds of non-clinical functions they perform day in and day out, they too are vital to a patient's health and healing.

The second is attention to detail. Most times, my staff are the first and/or last interaction our members have with Kaiser Permanente. It is crucial for them to pay attention to every detail about the patient they encounter because each and every detail about the patient, large or small can help us do a better job in serving them. Sometimes, it may be as simple as a smile or word of encouragement that could make all the difference in the patient experience.

DI: What career advice can you offer to veterans or current military folks who are looking to pivot, and what types of jobs should they be looking for?

Stay current in world health affairs, as well as the political climate in the US. Now more than ever, politics are shaping our approach to health care and vice versa. Veterans and current military members should make sure they have an idea of where civilian health care is, as well as where it's going in the future, so they can demonstrate their value to potential health care employers.

Devote time to discovering their passion and allow it to lead them to a profession. So often, when military members plan to transition to civilian life, they tend to focus on their ability to continue providing for their families beyond military service. This can cause us to accept positions for the sake of securing post military employment, or accept positions that are not aligned with our core beliefs, or passion.

DI: Did you always have an idea of the type of career you wanted to pursue after the military?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I began planning my exit from the military in 2005 when I discovered my passion for eliminating health disparities however, because I was a single father of a 5 year old girl, my mom convinced me to complete a full career first.

In 2004, the Navy sent me to graduate school to learn how to be a health administrator. During the summer of 2005, I interned at Wallace Thomson Hospital in rural Union County, South Carolina. While there I met a kitchen worker who impressed me with her skill in preparing meals for all of the sick patients at the hospital, specific to their individual needs. Her name was Pee Wee and even though she never finished high school, and worked a second job to make ends meet she somehow found a way to show compassion for each patient while contributing to the healing environment.

After the rotation was complete, I went back to finish graduate school and learned that Pee Wee died of a stroke. She was 52. Her death really affected me and a began to look at how a person in America could die so young of a preventable health issue. That's when I learned about health disparities and discovered my passion for eliminating them. I understand that I may not be able to complete this task in my lifetime however, I am completely comfortable with making it my life's work at Kaiser Permanente.

Trump Cancels Visit to WWI Cemetery Because of Rain

"It's incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary — and then remain in his hotel room watching TV," David Frum said on Twitter.

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery dedicated to the U.S. soldiers killed in the Belleau Wood battle during World War I / YOUTUBE

Light, steady rain resulted in President Trump cancelling plans to attend a commemoration in France on Saturday to honor U.S. soldiers killed during World War I.

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Accenture Research Shows CFOs Play a Growing Role in Digital Transformations at Financial Services Companies

"Financial services CFOs are increasingly performing a difficult balancing act between managing risk and unlocking value."

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

Chief financial officers (CFOs) at banks and insurance companies are playing a growing role in digital transformation by leveraging new data and analytic technologies and by assuming greater influence in decisions about technology investments, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

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High-Growth Companies Buck Trend of Declining Returns on Innovation, Accenture Report Finds

Only 14 percent of companies are successfully using innovation to unlock value.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

Only one in seven companies is able to tap into the full potential of technology-enabled innovations, with most others missing out on an opportunity for both strong growth in profits and market capitalization, according to a new research report from Accenture. At the same time, the report identifies several practices of high-growth companies that have enabled them to derive significant value from innovations where others have failed.

The report, "How to Unlock the Value of Your Innovation Investments," surveyed C-level executives at 840 large companies across 14 industries and eight countries. The research found that approximately one in seven (14 percent) of the organizations surveyed are generating significant value from their innovation investments — and identified the innovation approach of these high-growth companies and what other companies can learn from them.

The research found that companies' return on innovation investments declined 27 percent over the past five years and notes that the gap between what technology makes possible and the ability of companies to realize that value is only going to grow. This creates a steady supply of "trapped value" — i.e., the value that businesses could be releasing or sharing if they could change faster and more fundamentally in ways that would enable them to capitalize on technology-enabled innovations.

The good news is that the declining costs of advanced technology are presenting new opportunities for companies that have been increasing their innovation investments. Incumbents and start-ups spent a combined US$3.2 trillion on innovation-related activities over the past five years, and this trend is expected to continue — almost one-third (29 percent) of those Accenture surveyed expect to increase their investments in innovation by more than 50 percent over the next five years.

Challenges to Innovation Investment Strategy
Of the 56 percent of respondents who reported increasing their innovation investments by at least 25 percent in the past five years, more than half (57 percent) underperformed their industry peers in growing profits or market capitalization. Accenture analysis shows that much of this is due to spending predominantly on incremental innovation, which is how nearly two-thirds of non-high-growth companies directed their spend, rather than on disruptive innovation.

"Spending on incremental innovation is not enough to seize opportunities enabled by scaling advanced technologies," said Omar Abbosh, group chief executive of Accenture's Communications, Media & Technology operating group. "To unlock trapped value through new market opportunities and improved operational performance, companies must dare to focus on truly disruptive, step-change innovation, applying it persistently and intensely across their entire business."

Unlocking Trapped Value
Lessons from high-growth companies show a distinct approach to innovation that helps them turn innovation investment into real value. C-suite executives at high-growth companies advocate an innovation approach that is:

  • Change-Oriented: Having the courage to apply innovation with greater intensity to reinvent existing ways of working, and thus achieve deep organizational change.
  • Outcome-Led: Fostering innovation efforts across the business and having the discipline to tie them rigorously to financial performance.
  • Disruption-Minded: Committing to invest more aggressively, over time, in truly disruptive innovation initiatives that have the potential to create entirely new markets.
Additionally, the research identified several key characteristics that further differentiate high-growth companies from other companies. These include being:
  • Hyper-Relevant: Sixty-five percent of high-growth companies (vs. 54 percent of others) collaborate with customers during the innovation process.
  • Talent-Rich: Sixty percent of high-growth companies (vs. 48 percent of others) develop a "liquid" workforce — one that is flexible, supported by technology and adaptive.
  • Network-Powered: Sixty-one percent of high-growth companies (vs. 51 percent of others) use digital technologies to provide products-as-a-service.
"Putting innovation to work in areas such as talent management and building greater inclusiveness, in addition to mastering leading-edge technologies, has been a key to the success of high-growth companies," said Dr. Vedrana Savic, managing director of Thought Leadership at Accenture Research. "True leaders are those companies that use innovation to reinvent, rather than just improve, existing ways of doing business."

To learn more about the report, which is part of Accenture's "Into the New" research, please visit: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consulting/Innovation-investment-value or join the conversation at #InnovateNow.

Police Professionals Welcome New Technologies but Require Training and Enhanced Workforce Planning, Accenture Survey Finds

The specific technologies that respondents expect to see their organizations use more over the next three to five years include body-worn cameras (48 percent), biometrics (37 percent), video analytics (42 percent) and predictive policing technologies (26 percent).

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

Three-fourths (76 percent) of policing personnel expect that they will need new digital skills to be effective in their roles over the next three to five years, and half (50 percent) are willing to learn new digital skills if they receive the necessary training from their employer, according to findings of a six-country survey released by Accenture at the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

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Millennials Likely to Be the Biggest Spenders This Holiday Season, Accenture Survey Reveals

Use of social media platforms for holiday shopping is rising quickly.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

U.S. consumers expect to spend more money on holiday shopping this year than last year, with millennials likely to be the biggest spenders according to results of the 12th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey from Accenture.

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Accenture Introduces Ella and Ethan, AI Bots to Improve a Patient's Health and Care Using the Accenture Intelligent Patient Platform

The bots are designed to deliver a more personalized patient experience and better patient support.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

Accenture has enhanced the Accenture Intelligent Patient Platform with the addition of Ella and Ethan, two interactive virtual-assistant bots that use artificial intelligence (AI) to constantly learn and make intelligent recommendations for interactions between life sciences companies, patients, health care providers (HCPs) and caregivers. Designed to help improve a patient's health and overall experience, the bots are part of Accenture's Salesforce Fullforce Solutions powered by Salesforce Health Cloud and Einstein AI, as well as Amazon's Alexa.

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Low Consumer "Literacy" of Healthcare System Estimated to Cost $4.8B Annually, Accenture Report Finds

One in two consumers not proficient at navigating complexity of healthcare system.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Accenture.

A new report by Accenture has found that half of U.S. consumers are unable to navigate the complexity of the healthcare system on their own and that this low level of health system "literacy" costs the industry an estimated $4.8 billion annually in administrative expenses alone.

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